Sulphur Denitrator

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Anyone running a sulphur denitrator?
I connected up 2 aquamedic sulphur reactors and 2 hydro carbonate reactors on sunday evening. set my drip rate to about 3 p/s. have checked the effluent twice a day and nitrates and ph have been the same as in the tank (8ppm nitrate and ph 8.2) without any changes. i shit myself when i checked the effluent nitrate this afternoon (with a hagen kit) off the scale <110ppm. i remember reading that this had happened/happens. but i cant find the article anywhere. 48 hours after setup. however my tanks readings are still at 8ppm. i have now slowed the drip rate to 1 p/s. Wish this bugger had a mv.

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i have also just added about 10m of airline between the pump and the units intake....... does anyone see any value in this. ie will it make any difference to the oxygen level by the time it hits the reactor
 

Alan

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Hi Wizard, i dont think too many of us run these denitrators, so you may find advice a little difficult to come by. Personally i would run a Sulphur denitrator with a mv probe to be on the safe side.
 
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i know, i wish this setup had provision for one. ill keep posting progress on it. i think it will be possible to run with out a mv just means its going to be a ball ache to get it dialed in and will need to have an eye kept on it for the first couple of weeks.
 
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Wish this bugger had a mv.
Well, why don't you install one?

You could DIY an in-line electrode holder quite easily - use a normal PVC "T" piece (used for plumbing blue PVC pipe as in your photo, just behind the denitrator) with a screw thread on the perpendicular opening and the normal "slip" push-the-pype-in openings on the other two straight (in-line) openings. Glue two end caps onto the two straight openings, and drill and tap the two end caps to accept the same type of connectors that you have on the denitrator (I would guess they will be the same as any RO filter connections...).

Now just unscrew the connector between the two sulpher containing units, and divert the flow through this DIY "T" piece. You can then screw an ORP (mv) electrode into the "T", and hook it up to an ORP controller - an electrode (and controller) such as those I'm using in this thread http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=1001 could work very nicely.

Apologies if my description is not very clear, I will try to post a sketch if needed.

Hennie
 
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thanks for that, quite simple i suppose. the probe and controller push the price up quite a bit, what i liked about this setup was the low initial cost. if i do battle to get anything consistent out of the unit or if it gives me any shit i will definitely mod it and install an mv controller.

effluent PH still 8.2 and nitrates <110ppm 07-11-2007 6:30 am
Tank PH 8.2 and nitrates at 10ppm 07-11-2007 6:40 am

running for about 60 hours now

The unit is only outputting 375ml p/h and i have this running into a bucket and not back into the tank. i have a bucket of s/w dripping back in at +- the same rate
 
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One more thing to keep in mind (and remember, I've never had a sulphur denitrator in my life, so I could be totally wrong...) if I correctly remember the research I've done on these units, they must build up an anaerobic bacterial load, which "breathes" the sulphur in the absence of oxygen, the same as the anoxic bacteria in a deep live sand bed would need to increase in quantity (cycle) whilst "breathing" oxygen. So, I would guess that your filter is still busy "cycling", and that the nitrate reduction would only start up properly once there is enough bacteria in the filter.

I would further guess that you might speed up the process by adding a carbon source (sugar or alcohol), the same as for a regular de-nitrate filter.

Hennie
 
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why not e-mail aquamedic support for more information on using your sulphur reactor
 
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One more thing to keep in mind (and remember, I've never had a sulphur denitrator in my life, so I could be totally wrong...) if I correctly remember the research I've done on these units, they must build up an anaerobic bacterial load, which "breathes" the sulphur in the absence of oxygen, the same as the anoxic bacteria in a deep live sand bed would need to increase in quantity (cycle) whilst "breathing" oxygen. So, I would guess that your filter is still busy "cycling", and that the nitrate reduction would only start up properly once there is enough bacteria in the filter.

I would further guess that you might speed up the process by adding a carbon source (sugar or alcohol), the same as for a regular de-nitrate filter.

Hennie
if it hasnt come right by tomorrow i will dose some sugar. should i the supply pump to suck some up into the reactor?
 
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this is the reply from aquamedic
Hello,

that´s impossible. The nitratelevel of the outcoming water can´t be higher than the water of your tank. There is something wrong with your measurement. Your test is measuring other substances which give the same reaction. But I don´t know which substances. In case of seawater the high chloride content can cause wrong results.

Have a nice weekend
Stephan Gohmann

Adam du Plessis - On Site Computer Services schrieb:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> I am hoping that you can help. I recently set up an aqua medic sulphur
> reactor. I have two sulphur chamber running together and then into two
> hydro carbonate chambers. They have been running at 1 drop per second
> for about 90 hours now. I am very concerned about the nitrate readings
> on the effluent. They are way above what my test kit can detect, over
> 110ppm. My tanks nitrates are under 10ppm. Is this normal and how long
> can I expect this to continue before I get a 0 ppm nitrate reading
> from the effluent.
>
>
>
> Look forward to your response
>
 
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In researching this problem the only mention of the same test results of the effluent water was also from a hagen nitrate test kit. however there were no more replies or solutions posted on the site. i will try a tropic marin test kit a soon as i can
 
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i dosed a t spoon of sugar yesterday afternoon. i took measurement this am at about 7am and still the same ....... higher than 110ppm nitrate in the effluent.
 
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email to hagen

Hi, I am hoping that you can help. i have recently installed an aquamedic sulphur denitrator ( water passes over about 2litres of sulphur beads at a rate of about 300ml per hour) which then runs into and aquamedic hydro carbonate reactor water passes over about 2litres of hydro carbonate at a rate of about 300ml per hour). i am using a hagen no3 test kit to test the nitrate content of the effluent of the reactor. however my readings are showing a no3 content of over 110ppm on your test kit. i have emailed aquamedic regarding this and they say that it is impossible. my no3 level in the tank is 8ppm. aqua medic have suggested that there is some other "element", "compound" or "chemical" that the test kit is detecting and reporting as an extremely high no3 reading. i am running a 1000l marine reef tank. are you aware of anything that could be causing this. i have not tried another brand of thest kit yet so i can not confirm that the readings are specific to your no3 test kit.

i look forward to your response.
 
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Not sure if this will help, but I know that there is generally a sharp increase in nitrite soon after setup, hence the recommendation to run the effluent into a bucket for the first few days.
 
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hallelujah!!!!!!!!!! this is the first confirmation that i have had that this is normal and that running the effluent out of the water column is the right thing to do. i am running the effluent out and topping up with an equal "drip rate" of sw back into the system. BUT..... are the nitrate levels normally still so elevated after120hours at +- 300ml per hour
 
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i dosed a t spoon of sugar yesterday afternoon. i took measurement this am at about 7am and still the same ....... higher than 110ppm nitrate in the effluent.
Be careful with this - from what I've read, the carbonate source should be added VERY slowly, like perhaps a few ml per day.

Also, be patient - anaerobic bacteria multiply much slower than aerobic bacteria, so it might take a few weeks before it really kicks in.

Here are some extracts from an article written by Pierre ZMIRO, and published in 1999

Q: What volume of sulfur must be used? A: The sulfur volume must1% of the volume of water Q: What must be the flow rate inside the reactor? A: The flow rate must me equal to the sulfur volume per hour. Ex: for a 600 liters aquarium with a 100 liters sump, 7 liters of sulfur and 7-l/h flow rate.
Q: Is there any danger to use this reactor ? A : This type of reactor is now used for more than 7 years in some tanks, and is used now successfully by many aquarists in France. This only thing you have to take care is the production of Nitrites when you start the reactor : The more Nitrates you have in your tank, the more Nitrites will be produced during the first days, before enought bacteria have settled in the reactor. So, to avoid risks if you have a high level of nitrates in your tank, discard the water at the exit of the reactor during the first days, until the Nitrites Level is low.
Perhaps you should also be testing the effluent for nitrites at this stage...

Hennie
 
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Spot on info Hennie (A.P.U.) Found the same recommendations in Deelbek and Sprung Volume 3.
You say you have adjusted to about 3 drops per second, please convert into ml/minute,or L/hour as it is easier to see if your flowrate is correct.
 

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